Point Deception (Cape Perdido, #1)

ISBN: 0446611360
ISBN 13: 9780446611367
By: Marcia Muller

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Default Fiction Marcia Muller Muller Muller Marcia Mysteries Mystery Mystery Suspense Series To Read

About this book

The body of an woman washes up near Point Deception, California--a day after she was spotted near her broken-down car on the highway. Deputy Sheriff Rhoda Swift worries the woman's brutal rape and murder will resurrect fears from the unsolved massacre of two families 13 years before. When Rhoda investigates with journalist Guy Newberry, a shocking truth will test how far she is willing to go for justice. (May)

Reader's Thoughts


Good, but not great.


My mom has read lots of books by Marcia Muller and her husband, Bill Pronzini. I have read some of them, and they are always entertaining. This one was about mysterious happenings along the Northern Calilfornia coastline. I liked it!

Joe O'c

Very Good; potentially a new series with sheriff's deputy Rhoda Swift; 13 years after 6 people were killed in a small California town, terror revisits at the same time a wrter comes to town.


Eh very average mystery novel... Nothing special about it at all!


Something terrible happend in Cascada Canyon 13 years ago and Deputy Rhoda Swift was there. People in Soledad County don't talk about it much including Rhoda but that is about to change. Plagued by what happened and aided by a journalist Guy Newberry, she sets out to solve that unsolved crime as well as the resent rash of mysterious deaths. What will they find?


eh. Not one of her better books. Skip it unless you love Marcia Muller.

Jackie Simons

Read 11/01


I'm reading this book for entertainment, not necessarily to "improve my mind". It is very entertaining.

Kirsty Darbyshire

This non McCone mystery got off to a bit of a slow start for me. I wondered whether this was because it isn't part of the long running McCone series and therefore possibly different from what I was subconciously expecting but I've also read (ok, devoured) all Muller's other books that I could get my hands on including those featuring Elena Oliverez and Joanna Stark so I am aware that Muller can write other stuff too. I think it's the billing as a "thriller" that had set me thinking down the wrong lines. I'm not quite sure of the technical definition of a thriller but I think of somehting more suspenseful when I think of a thriller. Which is only a complaint about the marketing of this book. I'm finding it to be a very competent mystery full of interesting characters.


It's like an episode of CSI-paperback-novel. Solid murder mystery albeit somewhat predictable. It's an easy vacation read and did keep me on the edge of my seat. The best part was how Muller changed perspective between the main characters.


POINT DECEPTION-VGMuller, Marcia- Stand alone11 year old mass murder

aPriL meows 'n growls TLDR

An emotionally complex character-driven mystery. Sheriff's deputy Rhoda Swift's territory is Northern California along the coast and the communities she patrols are spread out and thinly populated. Summer tourists and rich people who own summer homes are all that is keeping the few open businesses going. A massacre of two families that took place near Point Deception thirteen years previously has seriously poisoned the spirit of the year-around locals as well, so they have nothing to fight the economic downturn. Hard drinking is the main occupation when the residents come home from what work there is, including the cops. Despite the open murder case of the two families, no one wants to talk about it or solve it. Then, a New York journalist, Guy Newberry, comes to town asking questions about the old case. At the same time, the body of a young girl washes up on the beach, a girl everyone had seen standing next to a disabled car with the hood up but all had driven by without stopping, including Swift. As Swift begins her investigation, aware of her dereliction of duty in not stopping to help the girl, she learns many residents drove by without stopping. She becomes aware of the general spiritual rot that has debilitated her county, so she teams up with the handsome Newberry, hoping to finally put closure to the old murder while solving the new one. Could it be they are linked?Swift is not like Muller's other series stars; she has been a benumbed police officer for more than a decade, tainted early in her career by mistakes made at the massacre. She became near alcoholic for years and gave up drinking shortly before Newberry arrives. Her self-confidence and determination are born anew from a decade of somnolence and unacknowledged guilt, but once awakened to her self-imposed numbness, she wants to start being a cure for problems instead of covering it all up. Muller's other heroines become hardened by their exposure to crime through decades of solving mysteries; Swift's progression is quite different by being shell shocked early in her police career.Rhoda Swift seems like an interesting new series character!


This one was fun. In the front of the book is a map of "Soledad County" which sits on the Northern California coast between Humboldt and Mendocino. At the north end of the County there is Oilville, obviously Petrolia, at the south end is Westhaven, the coast road is 1 and over on the inland side winds Highway 101, through the redwoods. A few familiar names like Castle Rock and Eel River, and there you have the setting. Muller does a great job evoking the North Coast folks, including the dope growers, former hippies/commune dwellers, artists, hard drinking rednecks, etc. Oh and of course the Second Home rich folks from the City. There is a mystery with clues strewn around (I admit I was leaning toward the red herrings of the suicidal deputy and the wacko father for a time) and there is a side story of budding romance between the protagonist, a female deputy, and a writer who has come to Soledad to research some murders that took place 13 years earlier. This one was from 2001 and I hope there has been at least one later one with the same characters. A really nice one-night stand, very entertaining. As for what I learned? Large Print is great for reading a whole book in bed.

Doris A.

An oikay read with an impossibly stupid ending. Stupid enough that I never read the author again.

Julie Carter

I enjoyed this book, and felt like it was a good mystery. I liked the way that Chrystina's story was woven in with the investigation. I am about to start "Cyanide Wells", and hope it is as enjoyable as this one was.

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